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Tony Stanza: Advanced Poetry Workshop

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[01 Jun 2007|11:21am]

making up with hank

I’d read him, sure, and liked him okay
for a two-bit drunk who squeezed out poems
the way most of us shit, but then my friend
with the bukowski tattoo took me to the horse track
to watch the old toads sweat over their tickets:
two minutes for each race then thirty more to bet,
weep, tally their losses. bukowski loved misery
which is why he loved horses: even the long-shot
thoroughbred only bought him the whiskey
which put the puke on his pillow in the morning
and gave his wallet to some no-good whore.
but that’s what helped hank pump out ten poems
on a good day—caring about as much for the art
as he did for the #6 mare shot in the head
after it broke its leg and lost him a hundred.
on the ride home my nose was already peeling,
burned red as a forty-year boozer’s,
I’d won a half dollar, my buddy lost twenty,
and we were at a stoplight watching crows
on a powerline when he said ravens
were sophisticated, not like seagulls, they don’t
just let go of their guts in mid-air like
angelic bums. then right on cue it was caw, caw,
and a wet bomb hit the windshield. shit,
hank, you were right all along! the world
is a joke—mean and unknowable. I’m planning
to play the ponies again real soon.
3 words| critique this

I feel like I've come late to the party! [23 May 2007|05:03pm]
Hey everyone! My name is Phoebe and I'm heading to Florida's MFA program this fall for oranges and poetry. My year away from school has been pretty creatively dry and I was hoping to jump start my writing here! I mostly write in flash fiction/prose poetry/short short form, with a few sonnets thrown in here and there for good measure. I like insects, nostalgia, and science fiction themes in poetry. And I just realized that I'm making myself sound like an awful poet. But anyway, I look forward to collaborating with you guys. Under the cut, I've posted a poem that people in college tended to get really exited about, but it may have had more to do with the mention of "Melmac" than anything else.

Horror ScopeCollapse )

Now, post things so we can share more writing!
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For Fred [30 Apr 2007|09:07pm]

For Fred

To have your week planned out in meals is a wonderful comfort.
Or having just enough clean laundry to make it to Sunday.
I like watching old women shop for groceries,
studying soup cans with patience
not fear, lifting a bag of potatoes onto the conveyer belt with a giant effort.

It’s a full time job trying to keep the house clean.
It’s easier when you have a small house but even so.

I got a t-shirt with an orchestra of elephants,
their trunks were trombones or tubas and then his grandmother died.
God is a comfort to a lot of people and most everybody’s grandmother dies.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
For me comfort is
the courageousness of a small, shy tiger living in a clock.
Battling shyness is one of those battles that’s ok to lose.
There usually isn’t a whole lot of blood shed.

Bus 78Collapse )
5 words| critique this

problematic ty cobb poem [30 Apr 2007|04:44am]

II. Heavy Artillery

Baseball is not for pink mollycoddlers
who don’t bleed. It is a war
for men chased by sniveling
bastards. Haven’t you seen
the diamond sink when I play?
I am stomping us down to some
quick hell – it is the only way
to bury your enemies. Make them be
a guide through heat so tight
even my shadow is trained to steal
bases. My shadow should have
been a doctor, so I could
never look up to it. I
talk in paragraphs of war
and if you want a poultice,
don’t increase my tension.
Don’t suck on my fever.
Don’t infest my politics with clap.
Don’t chuck things at my weapon.
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Jeff Knight introduction [29 Apr 2007|08:50pm]

Hi, I'm Jeff, happy to be here, and hoping this will be a good kick-start to my too-long-dormant poetry writing. I used to be an occasionally successful slam poet, have published in some okay places, and love the feeling of being lost in a poem, both as reader and as writer. Dead center of the overlapping circles in the Venn diagram of poetry virtues I admire and aspire to would be James Dickey, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, and Stephen Dunn.

I tend to take on more than I can actually do, and have a couple of novels underway, besides being a busy dad, and working a fulltime job as a scriptwriter of educational media. But everything goes better when I'm writing poetry.

Here's a good example of my work.

2 words| critique this

Introduction [28 Apr 2007|01:26am]

Hi, I'm Tim. I live in Los Angeles with the lovely and amazing quiet_flame, and work as editor of RATTLE. After graduating from the University of Rochester in 2003, I lounged around as an overnight counselor at a group home, taking advantage of a lot of down time to write -- poetry, fiction, garbage, etc -- and then stumbled ass-backward into this fine situation. I can't complain. My poems have appeared in a lot of my favorite journals, but I still get rejected constantly from the big powerhouses. My first book-length collection, American Fractal, is on the verge of being published...I hope. For sample poems and a bit of video, you can check out this tag at my more 'professional' blog. The extremely diligent can track back through my entire writing career by 'joining' timothy_green.

Anyway, reading through the guidelines and introductions, I have to say that I'm very impressed with this community. It's organized very thoughtfully, and the members indeed seem like real 'poets-for-life.' Good job, Sean. Looking forward to this.
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allow myself to introduce...myself [27 Apr 2007|01:47pm]

Hi, my name is Megan. I'm glad to be invited. I often crave to be part of a writerly community, but I couldn't hack the notorious poetryslamming, as I don't do the whole BDSM thing, so I'm glad positivity is emphasized here. I'm 23, I recently graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and moved to Los Angeles, California. I live with my lobster, writer Timothy Green, who I hope will also join this place. He is the editor, and I the assistant editor, of the poetry journal RATTLE. I have been writing since I was 3, but am just now starting to get serious about it and accept that it's what I want to do for the rest of my life and that that's okay. I've been published in some magazines but you probably don't care about that so I won't list them. I have a chapbook I'm trying to get published. I'm just starting to read my poems at open mics, which I find terrifying and kinda fun. Poetry has thus far been my main focus, but I'm actually really into fiction right now, so I'll probably be posting older poems that could use some work (lord knows I have a lot of those). I just read over this post and God, I'm really boring. But I look forward to getting to know you all better and sharing and caring and all that jazz. Thanks again for having me.
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still needs a title [26 Apr 2007|09:34am]

Pruning the pomegranate tree
I am owed a thousand kisses:
mistletoe devours every axil,
sprouting green and pearl
wig-like twiglets.

Host tree weakened by choking zarza,
the parasite takes toehold and moves.
The only remedy: serrated half-moon
pruning saw and tough
leather gloves.

My arms are a maze of weals nonetheless
and splinters shiv my knuckles;
the pain a small penance
for hardtooth pleasure of slicing deep
through green wick.

I imagine her half child eyes as I cut:
were they closed for that first kiss
or widened in surprise?
Such a harmless thing, just a bit
of mistletoe.

How is it that these things take root?Collapse )
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The Life Word [25 Apr 2007|11:25pm]

The day wears it away, a scrubbing like:
upholstery, upholstery,
sometimes it’s just a dick in me.

Not sure now how the chainsaw came into it
but there were two nightmares in one:
the library found to be dis-ordered,
searching for uncataloged romances and finding them
next to war histories.
Pleased panic.
And then the customer: shambled,
chainsawed and chainsawing.
I can say two of these things to you.
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greetings [24 Apr 2007|09:21pm]

Hi, I'm Kath. I grew up bilingual on the border between Québec and Ontario, and now live in Toronto, where I manage a videostore. I originally moved here to attend York film school, but after a few years of study, I somehow wandered into a BA in creative writing instead. During my time at York, I also managed to stumble into the President's Prize for poetry and an editorial position on the school's lit mag. I find most of the best and most significant things in my life have felt like accidents. These days, I've been writing far more fiction than I have poetry, which is highly unusual for me. I'm hoping this community will inspire me to get back on track.
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introduction [24 Apr 2007|11:05am]

I'm still not sure how seanbishop found me, but I figure I won't stand on the fence. My name is Andrew and I live in Greenfield, Mass., with my wife Lynette and dog Sprout, close enough to walk to a monument known as the Poets Seat Tower, built in memory of local poet Frederick Goddard Tuckerman. I received my MFA from UMass-Amherst, where I met Lynette, who is also a poet. In the six years since I finished my MFA, I have worked as a journalist, at The Recorder in Greenfield and the Valley Advocate. I am now freelancing. Poetically, I was a winner of the 92nd St. Y The Nation/"Discovery" prize in 2002 and a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow in 2004. Despite all of that, I have yet to publish a book and have lately felt as if I'm clinging to the poetry life by my fingernails, slipping. With that, hello!
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introduction [22 Apr 2007|11:35pm]

Good morning, team!

My name is George. It is great to be in this community. I have never before that I know of made a connection between Tony Danza & serious poetry. My home is wallpapered with (mostly) rejection letters. I used to think poetry was the burning field. The most intense parts of my day everyday are meditative practices. I spend time with composition of austere harmonies. Well I'm looking forward to hearing your senses of verse!
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Song for Old Sailors [21 Apr 2007|02:55pm]

Song for Old Sailors

Eventually the world ends
for everyone. But few get the honor
of death by lava, or the moon
dropping from orbit like a wrecking ball.

Instead you wake one day
with a bulldog’s face: wrinkled and jowled,
speaking an ancient dialect of vowels
the kids don’t understand. You mourn

the price of gas in 1943, or the streets
you loved, which have all changed
their names like remarried wives.
And it gets hard just to keep being

alive in the alien world. Nothing left to do
but load up the gurney with a color TV
and a week’s libations, launch into the sea
and watch the morning news of

faraway massacres, or the discovery
of a genetic growth sequence perfect
for breeding ever-smaller Pomeranians,
massive inch worms, or curing cancer,

or so the news anchor will say,Collapse )
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introduction [19 Apr 2007|10:28pm]

Hey everyone. My name's Megan, I'm 22, and I just finished writing my senior thesis at UVA in the area poetry writing program. Currently I'm thinking about MFA programs...as I noticed some of you are already in them, maybe I can get some help with that here, in terms of what to look for or your experience in a program. Let's see...I have two cats, I like gin, and I frequently write poems about ex boyfriends. This looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially during the summer when I'm not in workshops.
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introduction [19 Apr 2007|02:57am]

Sean Kilpatrick was raised in Detroit and maintains The Anorexic Museum, featuring interviews with many authors. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in: La Petite Zine, FutureCycle, Pindeldyboz, MiPoesias, Exquisite Corpse, 5_trope, etc. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee and his first book is forthcoming from Six Gallery Press.
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Hello [17 Apr 2007|11:21pm]

I'm Tessa. I live in Pittsburgh and feel very lucky to work in a library. I got my BA in english and spanish from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and my MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. I was involved in the creative writing community during my undergrad years and, though having never been a very disciplined poet, have always been compelled to write. I would describe my style as short, personal, and often clumsy.
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introduction [17 Apr 2007|06:26pm]

Call me Andy Hall.

I am currently a PhD student in English at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. I am planning to focus on Creative Writing Pedagogy, although the program here is a hearty balance of linguistics, literature, and rhetoric. I have an M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles, and an M.A. from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and both are in Creative Writing. My aesthetics are pretty wide as I started reading poetry at coffeehouse open mics in Las Vegas when I was a teenager. I also have a background in Slam Poetry, which allows me to integrate my entertainer rock star fantasy into my poems, but currently, I am hoping to stay afloat in the three heady academic courses I am slooging through, and I am also teaching three composition courses over at Illinois Central College in Peoria. Whew! So forgive me if I am slow to respond... You can get a good sense of my style from watching a video in a recent post on my lj or myspace blog: same username... What else... I lost 100 pounds, and I am a space cadet, hermit, and Unitarian-Universalist. Glad to meet you all.
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[17 Apr 2007|07:20pm]

Hi, I'm Sophie. I recently returned to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA after graduating from Emerson College with a BFA in creative writing. Pittsburgh's aesthetic (abandonment, bridges, rust) and economy (shockingly cheap rent) compose ideal conditions for a writer, that is, if you're anything like me. My first chapbook, "____ Versus Recovery" will be available from Pilot Books (http://www.pilotpoetry.com/) in mid-May. Currently, I'm working on "The Apartment Theatre" a novel-in-verse in four voices, which I've been writing for approximately a year and a half. The other poems come and go as they please, (coy as cats), but there are a number itching to jump into someone's lap. I'm currently reading Julio Cortazar's novel "Hopscotch" - not poetry per se, but poetic. (doffs fancy hat) Pleased to meetcha.
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introduction [16 Apr 2007|08:27pm]

My name is Melanie, and I ordinarily live in Colchester, England, but am currently spending a sabbatical year in rural Andalucía, where I have bought a finca. Having published moderately widely in wee journals, I was meant to be putting together a poetry book manuscript to shop to publishers this year, but life, baby goats, and acres of bramble have somewhat intervened. I have three kids (the human kind -- ages 11, 9 and 6) and my day job is something mysterious with computers and social science data, but poetry is my passion. I'm American by birth, but have lived in Britain for more than a dozen years. A few things I'm reading at the moment are Don Paterson (his new version of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus is unbelievably great), Richard Wilbur (how I missed him I'll never know), John Burnside (I'm finding his Gift Songs a bit hard going at times) and an anthology of ancient Chinese poetry (pre-13th century, in translation). I generally like structure, craft, attention to musicality, and intelligible syntax, and I often write in form.
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introduction [16 Apr 2007|01:01pm]

My name is Maggie, and my game is poetry...(sorta)...I am an engineer of words and find poetry to be the utmost of challenges. I have a degree in English Education with a minor in Theatre and German, but I'm in the marketing business. This allows me time to work on my craft and appreciate life. I live in Austin, TX, and I participate in a biweekly writing group called The Writin' Hole, which is comprised of writers I trust and respect. We give each other critique and discuss the life and work of two poets each month. I am pleased to have been asked to join this community and look forward to throwing raw and troublesome work your way and vice versa.  Happy Day To You All!
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